When the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union last month, the seaside town of Port Talbot in Wales eagerly went along with the move. Brexit was approved by some 57 percent of the town's residents.

Now some of them are wondering if they made the wrong decision.

The June 23 Brexit vote has raised questions about the fate of the troubled Port Talbot Works, Britain's largest surviving steel plant — a huge, steam-belching facility that has long been the town's biggest employer.

Solar Impulse 2 has landed in Cairo, completing the penultimate leg of its attempt to circumnavigate the globe using only the power of the sun.

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President Obama is challenging Americans to have an honest and open-hearted conversation about race and law enforcement. But even as he sits down at the White House with police and civil rights activists, Obama is mindful of the limits of that approach.

"I've seen how inadequate words can be in bringing about lasting change," the president said Tuesday at a memorial service for five law officers killed last week in Dallas. "I've seen how inadequate my own words have been."

Mice watching Orson Welles movies may help scientists explain human consciousness.

At least that's one premise of the Allen Brain Observatory, which launched Wednesday and lets anyone with an Internet connection study a mouse brain as it responds to visual information.

The FBI says it is giving up on the D.B. Cooper investigation, 45 years after the mysterious hijacker parachuted into the night with $200,000 in a briefcase, becoming an instant folk figure.

"Following one of the longest and most exhaustive investigations in our history," the FBI's Ayn Dietrich-Williams said in a statement, "the FBI redirected resources allocated to the D.B. Cooper case in order to focus on other investigative priorities."

This is the first in a series of essays concerning our collective future. The goal is to bring forth some of the main issues humanity faces today, as we move forward to uncertain times. In an effort to be as thorough as possible, we will consider two kinds of threats: those due to natural disasters and those that are man-made. The idea is to expose some of the dangers and possible mechanisms that have been proposed to deal with these issues. My intention is not to offer a detailed analysis for each threat — but to invite reflection and, hopefully, action.

Alabama authorities say a home burglary suspect has died after police used a stun gun on the man.  Birmingham police say he resisted officers who found him in a house wrapped in what looked like material from the air conditioner duct work.  The Lewisburg Road homeowner called police Tuesday about glass breaking and someone yelling and growling in his basement.  Police reportedly entered the dwelling and used a stun gun several times on a white suspect before handcuffing him.  Investigators say the man was "extremely irritated" throughout and didn't obey verbal commands.

It can be hard to distinguish among the men wearing grey suits and regulation haircuts on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington. But David Margolis always brought a splash of color.

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Montgomery Education Foundation's Brain Forest Summer Learning Academy was spotlighted Wednesday at Carver High School.  The academic-enrichment program is for rising 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in the Montgomery Public School system.  Community Program Director Dillion Nettles, says the program aims to prevent learning loss during summer months.  To find out how your child can participate in next summer's program visit Montgomery-ed.org

A police officer is free on bond after being arrested following a rash of road-sign thefts in southeast Alabama.  Brantley Police Chief Titus Averett says officer Jeremy Ray Walker of Glenwood is on paid leave following his arrest in Pike County.  The 30-year-old Walker is charged with receiving stolen property.  Lt. Troy Johnson of the Pike County Sheriff's Office says an investigation began after someone reported that Walker was selling road signs from Crenshaw County.  Investigators contacted the county engineer and learned signs had been reported stolen from several roads.


Overrun By Otters, Illinois Reinstates Trapping Season

Nov 26, 2012
Originally published on November 26, 2012 9:44 am



Just over a couple of decades ago, there were fewer than 100 otters remaining in the state of Illinois. Today, there are at least 15,000. They're furry and cute and a nuisance to some, often called the raccoons of Illinois waterways. What's wrong with raccoons? Anyway. So for the first time in almost 90 years, Illinois has reinstated otter trapping season. We called Bob Bluett, a biologist with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

I brought up here, a picture of an otter. And he's awfully cute. He's got the button nose. He's got the widespread eyes. He's got the fur. Really? You guys are trapping those things?


BOB BLUETT: They are a beautiful animal. They're an awesome animal. But as our otter population has grown - I guess maybe exploded would be a good term for it - we've had some problems with otters getting into the people's ponds and killing the fish. And getting into aquaculture facilities, where people are raising fish for stocking and things like that.

It was kind of funny. A few years after we did our last release, the biologist from Cook County, where Chicago is, called me up. And he said, Bob, I just have to tell you. The first time I've seen this I saw one endangered animal eating another. And it was a river otter eating an endangered species of a fresh water mussel.

So some animals in our modified environment do really well. And the otter's been one of those. But there's also a need to try to keep things in balance.

INSKEEP: How was it that otters became endangered in the first place? Were they targeted by humans?

BLUETT: Yes. At the time - I mean, if we go back 200 years, there were no game laws in the state. So anybody could go out and pretty much kill anything, anytime they wanted to. It was listed as a state endangered species in the 1980s. And at that time, they thought that there were probably about 100 river otters in the state.

INSKEEP: So what happened?

BLUETT: There was an entrepreneur, Leroy Sevantl, from Louisiana who had figured out how to capture river otters with foothold traps without causing serious injuries to them. And he knew that states were wanting river otters for recovery efforts. So he kind of expanded his operation. He trained other trappers how to capture river otters using his methods. And he became the supply chain for most of the releases that occurred in the Midwest, like Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana.

INSKEEP: So the otters were re-released. Did it then go too far in Illinois?

BLUETT: We certainly have made great gains. We estimate our statewide population is about 15,000 to 20,000 river otters right now. So the population has just done super. A lot better, perhaps, than anybody expected.

INSKEEP: Have you had any negative reaction to allowing a trapping season for this animal that really does look like it could be a Disney character without any alterations done?


BLUETT: We've had some people express concerns, but this wasn't something that just came up overnight. We had to go through a legislative process to have a season. We had to go through an administrative rule process. We had to go through federal oversight, to not only check out our biology and make sure we're doing things responsibly, but also check out whether or not our regulations were consistent with an international treaty. And I think, also, you know, people come to realize that they're wonderful, they're great, but sometimes too much is too much.

INSKEEP: OK. Mr. Bluett, thanks very much for taking the time.

BLUETT: You're welcome.

INSKEEP: Bob Bluett is a biologist with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.


INSKEEP: This is NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.